Kotagiri is the home of the Kota tribes and is full of picturesque trekking trails. It lies below the busy town of Ooty and above its sibling Coonoor. A wall of hills protects it from the fury of the southwest monsoon, which makes its climate milder and more hospitable.
Among the sights, the picturesque St Catherine Falls clearly tops the list. Go to Kannerimukku to rediscover the home of the first European resident of the Nilgiris, John Sullivan, who was also the Collector of Coimbatore. His bungalow was built in 1819, a few years before he laid the foundation for Ooty. Walk in to view ancient photographs, tribal art, and implements used by the Kotas, Badagas, Todas and other tribes of the Niligiris.
Nature lovers can watch wild elephants wander carefree in the forests surrounding the “folding hills” of the Rangaswamy Peak. Chase after bright-winged butterflies and rare birds such as the Nilgiri Laughingthrush.
Follow the historic Nilgiri Mountain Railway along the track where the Bollywood hit song sequence Chhaiya-Chhaiya was shot. And don’t forget to shop for ginger biscuits at Royal Bakery or for eco-friendly products at the Green Shop run by the Keystone Foundation.
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